2016-11-11 / Sports
Pioneers rush for 238 yards in victory against Highlanders
Neither the Pioneers nor the Highlanders made the playoffs, but the football players on both teams left their hearts and souls on the field during the annual rivalry game Nov. 4 at Royal.
Simi Valley’s ground game, led by senior running backs Luc Moore and Alex Olarte, overwhelmed Royal’s defense to the tune of 238 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 24-10 victory in the 48th edition of the rivalry.
The Pioneers have won three straight games against the Highlanders, who lead the all-time series 29-17-2.
“It’s always good to go out there and get the win,” said Simi Valley head coach Ryan Taggart, who wrapped up his sixth season as head coach. “It’s good to end that way.”
Moore spoiled the Highlanders’ plans by racking up 146 yards and two touchdowns. Olarte added 81 yards and one score.
Pioneer quarterback Cole Hauptman, who is recovering from a bone fracture in his foot, kept the Highlanders’ honest by connecting on 13 of 24 passes for 133 yards.
Royal head coach Matthew Lewis got his first glimpse of the epic yearly showdown.
“Simi Valley came ready to play, and I don’t think that we did.”
Zeke Savage, Royal’s sophomore quarterback, earned his fourth start of the season. Conor Miller caught a 21-yard pass from Savage for the Highlanders’ only touchdown.
Lewis, who was hired in February, said he’s looking forward to his first full offseason.
“For me, the quality of your offseason program is worth six wins,” he said. “This group that will be our team in 2017 understands the hard work you put in the weight room in the offseason translates to wins.”